By Jack Malone

Scotland and England’s top-flight league leaders go head-to-head at Celtic Park on Wednesday night in a Champions League Group C tie of vital importance to both teams.

The home side need to get back on track in the group after the 7-0 drubbing at the hands of Barcelona a fortnight ago, whilst Manchester City will be looking to build on their demolition of Borussia Monchengladbach ahead of their own trip to the Catalan giants next month.

Celtic enjoyed a convincing 6-1 Scottish Premiership win over Kilmarnock at the weekend and it would be a surprise if manager Brendan Rodgers made significant changes to his line-up for the visit of the Citizens.

Goalkeeper Dorus De Vries was replaced at half-time with a chest injury at the weekend and will not be risked here, meaning Craig Gordon will start for only the second time since the away leg of the Champions League qualifier against Hapoel Be’er Sheva in August.

Star-striker Leigh Griffiths recovered from injury for the Killie match, playing 25 minutes from the bench and marking his return with a goal, but the in-form Moussa Dembele may well lead the line on Wednesday night.

Former City winger Scott Sinclair has been on fire for the Bhoys since his summer move from Aston Villa and is expected to start, whilst Kolo Toure, Dedryck Boyata and Patrick Roberts, three other men with strong Manchester connections, will be hoping to feature in the matchday squad.

As for City, they suffered a blow in their victory over Swansea on Saturday, with Kevin De Bruyne limping off towards the end of the game with a hamstring injury.

The Belgian’s injury may pave the way for Spain international Nolito to start at Parkhead; the former Celta Vigo man missed the win at the Liberty Stadium through suspension but has impressed with his early season performances.

Elsewhere, Pablo Zabaleta could feature at right-back as Pep Guardiola continues to rotate his defensive options, but Vincent Kompany remains sidelined, along with midfielder Fabian Delph.

With a manager at the helm who has already won this trophy twice, City’s prospects in the competition have never looked brighter.

The visitors are comfortable favourites for this one, but will be wary of the rousing atmosphere at Celtic Park which has helped the home side to cause more than one Champions League upset in recent memory.

Possible Celtic starting XI (4-2-3-1): Gordon; Lustig, Sviatchenko, Simunovic, Tierney; Brown, Bitton; Sinclair, Rogic, Forrest; Dembele

Possible Man City starting XI (4-1-4-1): Bravo; Zabaleta, Otamendi, Stones, Kolarov; Fernandinho; Sterling, Silva, Gundogan, Nolito; Aguero


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